You can make great whole grain breads by starting with a white flour recipe and substituting the whole grains for part of the white flour. The result will be a lighter bread, sometimes an almost white bread, with a high fiber
and nutrient content. Of course, you can use part white flour and part whole wheat flour.
And it's simply exciting, what you can add to your bread recipe, items like this:
- Rolled oats.
- Rolled grain blends. Blends of rolled oats, wheat, barley, rye and others make fantastic breads. You can find rolled grain blends at natural food stores or online.
- Cracked grains. If you want chewy nuggets in your bread, choose a coarse chop. If you want the whole grains to blend, use a fine chop. Again these can be bought at natural food stores or online.
- Whole grain berries. For a chewy bread, try whole grain berries, usually wheat. To soften them, soak them overnight or partially cook them for 30 minutes.
- Whole seeds and nuts. Sunflower seeds and nuts are wonderful in breads. A mixture of whole grains and nuts is wonderful. You can also consider pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, and poppy seeds.
Your choice of chopped or rolled grains will create very different breads. Rolled grains almost disappear leaving tiny flecks of fiber in the bread and a creamy color (if you are using white flour). Rolled whole grains add flavor, texture, and richness to your breads. These breads are chewy and moist, keep exceptionally well, and tend to be less crumbly. Cracked grains add chewy nuggets to your bread but the texture and color tends to be the same.
How much whole grains that you add to your bread is a matter of preference. In our test kitchen, we have made many whole grain breads and have used as little as 1/3 cup of cracked grains or a cup or more of rolled grains.
Cracked grains are much denser than rolled grains.
The following recipe is a nice starting point. It has about 30% whole grain blend but is light enough in both texture and color that picky kids will eat it. For those of us that like a little substance to our bread, this fits the bill. This is a delightful bread.
Use this recipe as a base recipe for other breads using rolled whole grains. You might try the following combinations, adjusting the flour to make a soft, almost sticky dough of the right consistency.
- Instead of two cups grain blend, use four. Reduce the flour by about two cups.
- Instead of white bread flour, substitute half white and half stone ground whole wheat.
- Instead of white bread flour, use 100% stone ground whole wheat.
- Add 3/4 or one cup shelled sunflower seeds. The blend has sunflower seeds in it but at this concentration, it is not many. The seeds will absorb a bit of the moisture so be prepared to reduce the flour slightly.
- Add 1 1/2 cups raisins and 2 teaspoons good quality cinnamon. Double the honey.
This recipe makes two very nice loaves in 5 x 9-inch bread pans. The loaves weigh about 1 3/4 pounds each.
We have not tested this recipe in a bread machine. If you wish to use your bread machine, cut the recipe in half and use the dough setting.
2 1/3 cups water at 105 degrees
2 cups rolled grain cereal mix
1 7-gram packet of instant yeast, SAF or equal
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup Baker's Dry Milk (high heat treated dry milk) (see note)
5 cups high protein bread flour, more or less
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon quality dough conditioner or per producer's recommendation
Note: Milk contains an enzyme that retards the growth of yeast. High heat treatment destroys that enzyme resulting in taller loaves of bread. High heat treated dry milk can be purchased online.
Prepare two bread pans by greasing the inside of the pans including the rims.
1. Combine the grain blend, the water, and the yeast in the bowl of your stand-type mixer. Add the honey and the dry milk. Add about half of the flour and combine with the dough hook until the dough starts to come together. Add the butter and salt. Add more flour in several additions, beating after each, until a soft dough ball has formed. You should use about five cups of flour. Beat with the dough hook for four minutes at medium speed or until the gluten is developed. The dough should be soft (but not too sticky to handle), smooth, and elastic. Water absorption may vary depending on environmental conditions and the flour you use.
2. Place the dough in a large greased bowl and turn once to oil all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic and let the dough rise until doubled, about one hour.
3. Turn the dough onto a lightly greased work area. Deflate the dough by gently folding and pressing most of the air from the dough.
4. Divide the dough in two with a knife. Using your hands, form a cylinder by pulling the dough around the center and tucking the seams together on the bottom, thus gently stretching the surface of the dough. Pinch the seams together to keep them from opening as the loaf expands.Place seam side down in a prepared pan and repeat with the second loaf.
5. Cover lightly with greased plastic wrap or place the loaves in a large food-grade plastic bag and set aside to rise until doubled, about one hour. Rise times will vary with conditions, especially temperature--yeast is very sensitive to temperature.
6. While the bread is still rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
7. When the bread has risen, place the loaves on the center rack of the oven and leave as much room for the air to circulate around the loaves as possible. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the bread is done and well-browned. If you have a probe-type thermometer, the internal temperature should reach 190 degrees. Once baked, immediately remove the loaves from the pans and cool them on a wire rack.
Guest Author: Dennis Weaver is the president of The Prepared Pantry, a kitchen store with over 100 bread mixes and baking ingredients and whole grains including the grains, nuts, and seeds mentioned in this article. He has written numerous books, articles, and recipes, including a free 250 page e-book, "How to Bake," with recipes and techniques from the culinary schools.
Healthy Bread Articles from the blogosphere...
Fiber-rich Seeds & Nut bread recipe features whole wheat bread flour, rye flour, walnuts, honey and molasses with plenty of seeds for taste and texture.
Publish Date: 07/26/2010 10:05
The list of healthy bread recipes below needs only one rise, or "proofing" - in the bread pans. Because the bread recipes use instant yeast, they don't need a second rising - a concept foreign to grandmothers everywhere. ...
Publish Date: 07/31/2010 23:17
When life gives you ripe bananas and going-soft blueberries, make bread-cake! I call this “bread-cake” because it's very thick, very dense, and very moist. You can eat it like a slice of bread but had it been baked in a.
Publish Date: 07/28/2010 11:03
From the authors of the groundbreaking, hugely popular Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day comes a new cookbook filled with quick and easy recipes for healthy bread Their first book was called stupendous, genius, and the holy grail of bread making. N...